Monday, September 28, 2009

Book Review : Devil's Island Frank De Sales

Devil's Island by Frank de Sales
238 pages Margin Press

My first reaction I had to this book was to constantly sing the Megadeth song with the same title over and over again as I looked at the cover. That is besides the point. Frank de Sales is a South African first time novelist and I think does a pretty good job with this occult horror novel. I didn't like it much myself but that doesn't mean others wont. It's not god awful, no quite well written just didn't grab me.

One of the strongest chapters of the book is opening chapter that introduces the character Andrew in a confessional where he admits that he murdered a crime boss. He did it in a creative way and the the chapter balances the flashbacks in a creative way. Andrew wants to commit himself to god and does so by leaving for an island mission.

On the same island the rich and wealthy gather an resort so exclusive only the very rich and powerful know of it. The island is metaphysical doorway and to hell and good vs. Evil battle ensues and even zombies are on hand for the fun. The chapters that center on Craig the character who is not rich and powerful were written for comedic value at times. Sometimes a bit of the top for my tastes.

I have to be honest I wasn't too involved with the characters or the setting. The idea didn't do much for me, which is problem when your novel is high concept like this. I got the feeling their was some Catholic stuff involved that I as non-catholic was missing. When I read that the author was South African I admit I was looking for a traditional horror novel set in South Africa. But the setting of this novel was London and an island in the Caribbean.

This is my fault not the author but I was hoping for some like the film “I'm not scared” Which was basically a Stephen King style horror story in the types of characters and tone but set in Italy instead of maine. I would love to see de Sales do something like that. This novel had wit and charm but a boring setting and concept. Next I hope he takes me on horrific journey to South Africa.


Frank de Sales said...

Thanks for that David. The Megadeath touch is totally original - and completely unintended on my part! I'll put some south African flavour into the next book, assuming there is one!

David Agranoff said...

Yeah Frank I am totally down for a South African horror novel! Hey now you have your theme song!